Apr 082011

Stretch Your Tax Refund by Investing in Your Home

Each spring, the snow disappears, the first tulips blossom and for many Canadians, tax refunds appear in their bank accounts.

To maximize your refund, consider investing in your home by making a lump sum payment on your mortgage, buying an energy efficient appliance and/or completing a home improvement project that will increase your property’s resale value.

If your home is more than a decade old, chances are that it can benefit from some improvements. Over time, wear and tear takes its toll, particularly on flooring. As well, fashions change. Oak cabinets, gold fixtures, ‘popcorn’ ceilings and other older finishes can make a home look dated. Bathrooms and kitchens generally show their age the most while living areas can be refreshed with paint and modern furniture.

Installing new flooring or renovating a bathroom or kitchen can cost several thousands of dollars. To help ensure that your investment will increase your home’s value, you may wish to hire a professional interior designer. Even a brief consultation may provide you with valuable insights into the colours, styles and finishes that are best for your home. Larger hardware stores often have designers on staff who can provide free advice but keep in mind that their suggestions may be limited to the products available at their store.

Once you have decided on a project, consider these tips:

  • While cutting-edge style is exciting, conservative choices will look fashionable longer
  • Take your time and explore the offerings at multiple stores
  • To save money, solid wood cabinets can be painted over
  • Environmental options can be a selling point; consider new products such as faux granite countertops that are made with recycled materials )
  • Lastly, measure twice and cut once!